Treasurer Joe Hockey has closed the old overseas university debt loophole, announcing in Tuesday night’s budget that go-getters working abroad will have to start paying back their education loans from January 2016.
Up until now, if you borrowed money from the government to fund your studies and subsequently moved overseas to work, you were temporarily off the hook.
You could earn as much as you liked and they wouldn’t come sniffing around for repayments.
Of course, the debt would slowly grow, but only at the rate of inflation so the increase wouldn’t represent any real additional cost as long as your wages were going up by the same amount.
But now the purse strings have been tightened at Canberra HQ to start stinging former students living abroad in a measure expected to save the government $140 million over the next ten years.
That’s a lot of students living abroad.
So if you’re thinking about skiving off overseas to avoid your student debt, think again, because big Joe’s watching.